Peace Corps Commemorative Work

Washington, DC
ikon.5 architects
Washington, DC

Illuminating humanity
Illuminating spirit
Illuminating benevolence
Illuminating kindness

Illuminating Benevolence is a glass lantern of optimism expressing America’s good will at work through the Peace Corps. Each glass tube of the lantern funnels daylight from an oculus above down its shaft making the commemorative a physical representation of a shining hope for peace. In the evening, each glass tube would be illuminated by concealed LED lighting from below. Each of the hundreds of glass tubes that support the cantilevered shelter overhead represents the importance of each individual significantly contributing to a real and lasting peace. Each side of the triangular shaped lantern, as formed by the context of the site, represents each of the goals of the Peace Corp: training; understanding of America and understanding of others by Americans. The space between the sidewalk and the glass tubes is an interpretative rail for displaying text and messaging for the commemorative work. In a world that is fatigued by war and terrorism, injustice and inequality, hatred and misunderstanding, the glowing beacon, standing tall, along Louisiana Avenue is a destination to recall and learn of America’s gift in the world…benevolence, empathy and opportunity.

The definition of humanity is ‘quality of being kind and benevolent’ (doing acts of kindness and charity, helping one other)

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